Hello, my name is Iggy and I live in Perth, Australia. Last month, I was out in my garden enjoying the sunshine when I noticed that there was something strange on my roof. I climbed up onto the roof of my home and discovered some damage. While I was up on the roof, I took a long look down at my garden. Seeing it from such a strange angle made me realise how overgrown it looked. The next day I called in some contractors to fix the problems. While they worked, they taught me plenty of cool tips and tricks.
Some owners of commercial kitchens may not know what they can do to be certain that their fire extinguishers will work when the need arises. This article discusses three factors that you should have in mind if you want to confirm that your fire extinguishers are in an operable condition.
Most fire extinguishers have seals on their necks. Those seals help to keep the compressed air inside the extinguisher from escaping into the atmosphere. The substance inside the fire extinguisher comes out under the force of this compressed air.
However, several factors, such as the presence of corrosive agents in the air around the fire extinguisher, may cause the seals to degrade. Consequently, the compressed air inside the extinguisher will escape. It will then become impossible for the extinguisher to discharge the material inside it in order to put out a fire.
It is therefore imperative to make sure that the seals on your extinguishers are working properly. The best way to find this out is by using a pressure gauge to confirm that the pressure in the extinguisher is within the set range. Replace or repair any extinguishers with defective seals.
Some fire extinguishers contain dry powders, such as ammonium phosphate. Some of those chemicals can solidify at the bottom of the fire extinguisher over time. Extinguishers with solidified powders will be unable to work when you try to use them during a fire.
You can guard against this degradation by shaking the extinguisher regularly, such as once each month. This will agitate the powder and prevent it from solidifying. Refill or replace any extinguishers whose powder forms large, solid particles that you cannot break up as you shake the extinguisher. Such large particles will usually bang against the walls of the canister as you shake it.
The factors discussed earlier can render a fire extinguisher to be inoperable long before it reaches the stated expiry date. However, you can prolong the service life of that extinguisher by addressing the issues discussed earlier. Nevertheless, the substances that are used within the extinguisher may gradually degrade until they are no longer effective. That is why you should take note of the expiry date that is indicated on the canister. Replace or refill an extinguisher that has reached its expiry date regardless of the condition of its seals or powder.
Ask a fire-extinguisher service expert to periodically (every six months, for example) check your extinguishers. That professional will point out any other issues that you may need to address in order to prolong the service life of those fire extinguishers.
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9 May 2017